Looking for facts about February 2018? This is a short month, so let’s celebrate all February has to offer!
A winter day! The feather-silent snow
Thickens the air with strange delight, and lays
A fairy carpet on the barren lea.
–David Gray, Scottish poet (1838–61)
February comes from the Latin word februa, which means “to cleanse.” The month was named after the Roman Februalia, which was a month-long festival of purification and atonement. See all the month names.
It’s the only month to have a length of less than 30 days! Though it’s usually 28 days, February is 29 days in leap years. This means it’s also the only month that can pass without a full Moon (as is the case this year).
Did you know: January and February were the last two months to be added to the Roman calendar (c. 713 BC); originally, winter was considered a month-less period.
Originally, February was made the last month of the calendar year! Eventually (c. 450 BC), February was moved to its place as the second month.
This short month if packed with holidays and history.
- February 2 is Groundhog Day. How did this quirky date get started? Find out the meaning of Groundhog Day.
- The 12th is Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday. The 16th president of the United States was born in a one-room, 16x18-foot, log cabin with a dirt floor. Do you like Abe?
- February 13 is Mardi Gras/Shrove Tuesday this year. Check out our Mardi Gras page.
- The 14th is always Valentine’s Day. Today, the holiday is celebrated with love, flowers, and chocolate. Who WAS St. Valentine?
- February 15 is Susan B. Anthony’s Birthday. How much do you know about this women’s right leader?
- In 2018, the Chinese New Year begins on Friday, February 16. See this year’s animal and your Zodiac sign.
- Presidents’ Day is on Monday, February 20. However, did you know George was actually born on January 11? Find out why on our Presidents’ Day page.
On February 4 of which year did the Electoral College unanimously elect George Washington as the first U.S. president?
Answer at bottom of page!
No Full Moon
There won’t be a full Moon in February, 2018. Having only 28 days in common years, February is the only month of the year that can pass without a single full moon
The full Moon rises on January 31 and March 1. See the Moon Guide for February for facts, folklore, and more.
Recipes for the Season
Get cozy this month with a cut of real hot chocolate—with marshmallows, of course!
Ready for football food? See our Super Bowl Dip Recipes —including spinach dip, guacamole, hummus, nacho layer dip, salsa and more!
For Valentine’s Day, we’ve gathered our favorite sweets and treats and romantic dinner ideas, too. See Valentine’s Day recipes.
New! Are you a chocolate lover? If so, Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be complete without a dip into decadence. See our best chocolate dessert recipes.
This is month to plan your garden! We’ll give you advice on how to space your plans and more! Try our Almanac Garden Planner for your best harvest yet. We’re offering a free 7-day trial.
Start onions from seed now. They’ll be ready for setting out in April. Onions from seed are generally firmer and longer lasting than from sets.
Start parsley indoors now. You may think you have successfully wintered over the plant, but it is a biennial and will soon go to seed.
Looking for the best days to quit smoking, prune trees, garden, wean babies, cut hair, lose weight, and more? See our Best Days by the Moon’s Sign.
February’s Zodiac Signs
Aquarius: January 20–February 19
Pisces: February 20–March 20
February’s Birth Flower
Even though so many roses are sold during February due to Valentine’s Day, the Violet and the Primrose are the symbolic flowers.
- The violet signifies watchfulness, loyalty, and faithfulness. Give a violet to someone to let them know that you’ll always be there for them.
- The primrose lets someone know that you can’t live without them.
Like the violet, February’s birthstone is a purple color. It’s the beautiful amethyst.
- This gem is a form of quartz; it can range from a pale lilac color to a deep, rich purple.
- The name is based on a Greek myth that speaks of a nymph named Amethyst who was inadvertently turned into white stone; in remorse, the Greek god Bacchus poured wine over her to turn her a beautiful purple.
- The amethyst was thought to prevent intoxication and keep its wearer thinking sharply. It was worn by English royalty in the Middle Ages.
Folklore for the Season
Married in February’s sleety weather,
Life you’ll tread in tune together.
If February give much snow,
A fine summer it doth foreshow.
Fogs in February mean frosts in May.
If Candlemas Day [February 2] be mild and gay
Go saddle your horses, and buy them hay
But if Candlemas Day be stormy and black,
It carries the winter away on its back.
It is better to see a troop of wolves than a fine February.
25 YEARS AGO (1993)
Jessica Korda (American professional golfer)
Tinashe (American singer and songwriter)
50 YEARS AGO (1968)
Kenny Albert (American sportscaster)
Gary Coleman (American actor)
Lisa Marie Presley (American singer and songwriter)
Mark Louis Recchi (Canadian ice hockey player)
Molly Ringwald (American actress)
100 YEARS AGO (1918)
Bobby Riggs (American tennis player)
Helen Stephens (American runner)
Robert Wadlow (American who held world record for tallest man, at 8 feet 11.1 inches)
125 YEARS AGO (1893)
Omar Bradley (American general)
Jimmy Durante (American comedian)
150 YEARS AGO (1868)
Evangeline Adams (American astrologer)
W.E.B. DuBois (American sociologist and civil rights activist)
200 YEARS AGO (1818)
Frederick Douglass (American abolitionist; birthdate unknown, but he celebrated Feb. 14)
*Answer to question at top of page: Answer: d, on February 4, 1789. Congress certified the vote on April 6. On April 30, Washington took the oath of office.